This is Part 2 of Toxic Chemicals in Health and Beauty Products series.
Toxic Chemicals in Beauty Products - Part 2
What it is – the most commonly used preservative after parabens
What it does – extends a product’s shelf life.
Why avoid? A top cause of contact dermatitis, imidazolidinyl urea may also stress our immune system. Plus, when used with water, it can release formaldehyde, a toxic chemical.
What they are – polyethelene glycol of polyethelene, which are both chemicals derived from petroleum
What they do – help prevent products from separating; also used as gelling and thickening agents.
Why avoid? PEGs can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen created during the manufacturing process. Certain PEGs may also cause hives and eczema and have been linked to kidney toxicity.
What it is – converted from alcohol
What it does – used as a disinfectant and fixative
Why avoid? – it is a known carcinogen. Causes contact dermatitis, respiratory tract irritation, pulmonary function problems, and cancer.
6. disodium laureth sulfosuccinate (DLS)
What it is – a chemical salt
What it does - boosts foaming action and makes it easier for the products to spread out and penetrate the skin.
Why avoid? It can produce harmful byproducts such as 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, two chemicals linked to cancer. They may be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.
What it is – a chemical compound derived from ammonia
What it does – as in DLS, this anionic surfactant acts as a cleansing agent and foam booster; prevents products from separating.
Why avoid? Research has linked TEA to certain cancers. Additionally, it’s sometimes contaminated with nitrosamines, a class of suspected carcinogens. TEA also may irritate skin and mucous membranes.
8. Mineral Oil/Parafin oil and wax/Petrolatum
What it is - petroleum by product
What it does – it interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins due to the fact that it coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores and interferes with skin’s excretory system (sweating), promoting acne and other skin conditions.
Why avoid? It slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products like baby oil. Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is very cheap.
Tomorrow is the Part 3, the last part of this series and we will examine the "Good Guys"